Immigration Restriction in a Liberal Democracy

Social Philosophy Today 21:125-135 (2005)
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Abstract

This paper analyzes the case for justifiable immigration restriction in a liberal democratic state. A number of candidates for such justifications have been put forth, but many of them depend for their plausibility on the confirmation of highly disputed empirical evidence. Others are more philosophical in nature, and so are less dependent on, and vulnerable to defeat from, empirical study. These justifications are the focus of this paper. It is first briefly established that justifications for immigration restriction in a liberal democracy must be consistent with the fundamental democratic values of liberty and equality. Two arguments for immigrationrestriction that seem to be founded on these values are then considered, and it is argued that they fail to adequately respect these values that provide their initial appeal

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